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Tag:Bud Norris
Posted on: February 28, 2012 10:27 am
Edited on: February 28, 2012 11:04 am
 

Astros name Brett Myers their closer

Brett Myers

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Astros' search for a closer has led them to their own rotation. Brett Myers, Houston's opening-day starter a season ago, will close this season, manager Brad Mills told reporters on Tuesday.

Houston Astros
Myers has been a starter in all but one of his 10 years in the majors, closing for the Phillies in 2007. Last year he was 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA in 34 games, 33 of those starts. In 2007, he had 21 saves after moving from the team's opening-day starter to the back of its bullpen. He had a 4.33 ERA overall that season, but had a 2.87 ERA in 48 appearances as a reliever.

The team approached Myers about the switch after he reported to camp. Houston signed Lian Hernandez and Zach Duke to minor-league deals in the offseason to join the rotation with Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ. The team also has Jordan Lyles, Lucas Harrell, Henry Sosa and Kyle Weiland competing for a starting spot.

"From my standpoint, we have some depth in the rotatiton between Duke, Livan, Happ, Sosa and Harrell and all the young guys," Luhnow told reporters, including Brian McTaggert of MLB.com. "We feel like we're in pretty good shape there and have some choices. We felt like we were a little exposed in the bullpen and having a guy who's been successful in that role and who's got the mentality and stuff to do well takes the pressure off of Brandon Lyon coming off an injury and doesn't put pressure on young kids like David Carpenter and Wilton Lopez."

Lyon started the season as the team's closer last season, but was injured early in the season. Mark Melancon took over, picking up 20 saves. The Astros traded Melancon to the Red Sox for infielder Jed Lowrie and Weiland in December.

Myers, 31, is in the second year of a two-year deal paying him $11 million this season. The Astros have a $10 million club option (with a $3 million buyout) for 2013 that vests based on his number of starts. According to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), the team has adjusted Myers' option in accordance to his new role.

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Posted on: December 15, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Houston Astros



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The most interesting thing about our latest installment in this series is that I believe this would have been one of the better teams in the majors had we done the exercise three or four years ago. How good would a Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Freddy Garcia top three in the rotation have been a handful of years ago -- along with Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence and Bobby Abreu leading the offense? Alas, we're doing it now and some of that sounds far less enticing. Still, let's check it out.

Lineup

1. Hunter Pence, CF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Ben Zobrist, RF
4. Lance Berkman, LF
5. Bobby Abreu, 1B
6. Chris Johnson, 3B
7. John Buck, C
8. Aaron Miles, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Oswalt
3. Wandy Rodriguez
4. Bud Norris
5. Jordan Lyles

Bullpen

Closer - Brad Lidge
Set up - Chad Qualls, Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Fernando Abad,
Long - Felipe Paulino, Freddy Garcia

Notable Bench Players

Ramon Castro, Carlos Guillen, Drew Sutton, Brooks Conrad, Brian Bogusevic

What's Good?

The trio of Pence, Zobrist and Berkman makes the front part of the offense look really attractive and Abreu offers decent protection for the Puma. Fitting in that two-hole would also do wonders for the development of the young Altuve. Can we assume health in this exercise, considering it's for fun? Sure, I will. So the starting rotation looks pretty good -- albeit not dominant anymore -- with Johan as the ace and Oswalt a good number two (remember, back issues hampered him last year). If Lyles isn't ready yet, we can plug in Garcia or Paulino as the five.

What's Not?

Lidge and Qualls aren't bad, but there is nothing in front of them worth much except two starting pitchers -- and, again, we may need one of the two in the rotation. The bottom part of the batting order isn't very good either and the bench is thin. But let's focus on what is really bad: The defense. I fought back and forth with whether to put Abreu or Berkman in LF, but either one is a bad choice. I just feel like Berkman can move better at this point. I also had to shift Pence to center, even though he's better suited in right. Miles is much better used at second base and he's not even really good there.

Comparison to real 2011

Well, the 2011 Astros were the worst team in the majors and in franchise history. This team isn't particularly good, but it's better than that. With that rotation, a decent back-end of the bullpen and some offense, these Astros should be able to work close to the 75-win range. One thing is for sure, they wouldn't be the worst team in the NL Central. I also feel like the best news for Astros fans is there would actually be some name players here to root for, after having seen the likes of Oswalt, Berkman, Pence and Michael Bourn traded over the past two real seasons. Still, you can't help but think that there are enough pieces here that the Astros could have properly built a real-life team that was still in contention in 2011 -- had they made the right moves.

Next: Los Angeles Dodgers

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Posted on: November 17, 2011 11:15 am
 

Astros fans unhappy with move to AL

Minute Maid Park

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Astros' move to the American League is proving to be none-too-popular in Houston, and one local lawyer says the move violates the team's lease agreement with the Harris County Houston Sports Authority.

Kevin W. Yankowsky told the Houston Chronicle that the move would violate Article 5, Section 5.1 of the least, and I'll let Steve Campbell of the Chronicle do the explaining here:

Article 1, Section 1.1 of the lease states that all capitalized terms in the lease have meanings assigned in a glossary of defined terms. One of the key provisions, Yankowsky said, comes in Article 5, Section 5.1 defining “Permitted Uses” of Minute Maid as including “exhibition, presentation and broadcasting of Baseball Home Games and activities related thereto.”

The Glossary of Defined Terms classifies “Baseball Home Games” as “any major league baseball game in which the Team as the host Team for its opponent (i.e. the Team takes the field in the first half of each inning and bats in the last half of each inning of such baseball game).” Team, as defined by the Glossary, is “the major league baseball team owned by the tenant pursuant to the rights granted to it as a National League franchise under the Franchise, currently named the Houston Astros Baseball Club.” Franchise, as defined in the lease, is “the Team issued by the National League.”

“In the simplest form, what this means, in my judgment, is come opening day of 2013, the Sports Authority can refuse to let them play because it’s not a permitted use of the stadium,” Yankowsky said. “They can quite simply lock the doors and say, ‘No, it’s not a permitted use.’ The play of Major League Baseball games, by definition, are limited to games in which a National League team is the home team.”

Of course, without the Astros, what would the city do with Minute Maid Park? It's an interesting protest for sure, but don't look for it to come to anything. Astros fans will just have to appreciate every Bud Norris at-bat while they still can.

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Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:35 pm
 

Bud Norris takes swipe at Brian Wilson on Twitter

By Matt Snyder

Have you seen those recent Taco Bell commercials with eccentric Giants closer Brian Wilson? If not, here you go:



Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris has seen it, and he's evidently not a fan (understatement alert). Witness his tweet from Monday night (via Big League Stew).



It's too bad that with Wilson being a closer and Norris being a starter, the odds of one stepping into the batter's box against the other are pretty astronomical.

Also, this kind of disrupts traditional hierarchy. Generally speaking, less established players don't really go after more established players. Norris, 26, had a decent season for the Astros -- who were the worst team in baseball. Wilson is a three-time All-Star and was a prominent member of the World Series champion Giants in 2010.

This example, in a long line of examples, is why Twitter is equally awesome for fans and maybe a bit too much for some athletes. If you're Bud Norris, why go after Brian Wilson? Nothing can possibly be gained by that. And, really? He can't tell if Brian Wilson plays baseball?

We can help, Bud: Yes, Brian Wilson plays baseball. He's better at it than you are.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:46 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 10:12 pm
 

Berkman breaks up no-hitter in Houston

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bud Norris

Lance Berkman continues to break the hearts of Astros fans. While there hasn't been much to cheer about for the Astros this season, Bud Norris had a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings before Berkman broke it up with a homer to right.

Berkman deposited Norris' 3-1 pitch into the stands in right. Norris got Colby Rasmus to pop out to Clint Barmes to end the inning.

It was Berkman's fourth homer of the season against his old team. Berkman had a 3-0 pitch that looked like it was low called a ball, immediately before launching Norris' fastball into the stands.

Norris has walked four and struck out one in seven innings.

Three times Norris walked the leadoff batter of the inning, only to get a double play each time. 

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Posted on: June 2, 2011 5:38 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 7:22 pm
 

On Deck: Cy Young candidates battle

On Deck

By Evan Brunell
ShieldsHernandezBEST MATCHUP: "King" Felix Hernandez, last season's CY Young Award winner, takes the mound Thursday night against James Shields, who could very well walk away with this year's Cy Young. Shields has been excellent all season in a regression to the mean from his unlucky 2010 season. The Ray is now 5-2 with a 2.15 ERA and has a plum matchup against a decrepit offense. But Hernandez is obviously no slouch and has kept up his status as one of (if not the) game's best pitchers with a 3.19 ERA. Seattle is one game over .500 thanks to the work of the pitching staff. The Mariners are looking to avoid dropping three games behind the first-place Yankees and two games behind the Red Sox on a day when both New York and Boston are off. Rays at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET

RAngersIndiansFIRST PLACE BATTLE: The Indians and Rangers are both in first place, and the four-game series that's beginning between the two could have division implications. The Tigers have been playing well as of late and could be sniffing at Cleveland's heels if the Indians lose the series. Beginning Friday, the Tigers will face the White Sox, who are coming off a sweep of the Red Sox and looking to get back into the race themselves. Conversely, the Mariners are only 1 1/2 games behind the Rangers, with the Angels two back and Oakland three. That's a slim margin of error for Texas. Even a series split could have ramifications depending on the play of the other teams involved. David Bush will make a spot start for Texas -- his third of the year -- while Carlos Carrasco aims to keep his ERA under 5.00 after finally dropping it to 4.97 last time out against the Rays. Rangers at Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET

PenceLOSING RECORDS: Bud Norris and Tim Stauffer both have losing records for the Astros and Padres, respectively, but that's because their teams have each lost over 30 games. Norris and Stauffer have actually been among their team's best pitchers, with Norris' breakout year checking in with a 3.76 ERA, 73 punchouts in 67 innings and just 25 walks. Despite a 3.60 ERA, Stauffer only recently earned his first victory of the year. With the series in San Diego, it's crucial for Hunter Pence (pictured) to keep swinging the way he has for Houston. His bat propelled the Astros to their first road sweep of the year, which they completed Wednesday with a victory over the Cubs. In the midst of a 13-game hitting streak, Pence's average has jumped almost 40 points to .317, but he has a career .117 mark at Petco Park. Astros at Padres, 10:05 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.





Posted on: May 27, 2011 7:59 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 9:09 pm
 

Astros' Rodriguez scratched

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Wandy RodriguezThe Astros have scratched left-hander Wandy Rodriguez from Saturday's start against the Diamondbacks, the team's Alyson Footer tweets.

Rodriguez apparently felt "discomfort" in his left elbow and will have an MRI on Saturday.

Rodriguez is 3-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 10 starts for the Astros this season. He's been Houston's best starter and the only one without a losing record.

Bud Norris (2-3, 3.77 ERA) will start in Rodriguez's place.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 5:19 pm
 

On Deck: Duffy's coronation


By C. Trent Rosecrans

ROYAL DEBUT: We recently saw the start of the Royals' rich minor league system infiltrate the big leagues with the promotion of Eric Hosmer (.270/.349/.568 in 10 games), and now we're beginning to see what really may be the strength of the team's system -- left-handed pitching. Duffy is one of four left-handed starters ranked in the top 10 of Baseball America's ranking of Royals prospects (deemed perhaps the best system ever) -- and third among those, behind John Lamb and Mike Montgomery. Duffy was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts in Triple-A, has above-average stuff, including a mid-90s fastball. Rangers at Royals, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Jorge De La RosaCole HamelsLEFTY BONANZA: The pitching matchup of the night leans further left than Dennis Kucinich -- the Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa against Philadelphia's Cole Hamels. De La Rosa has struggled in his career against the Phillies, going 0-3 with a 9.78 ERA, but he's had better results this year than in years past, accumulating a 5-1 record with a 3.70 ERA. Looking a little closer to his numbers, there's not a whole lot of difference between De La Rosa last year and this year, his xFIP is similar (3.61 this season, 3.65 last). The biggest differences are that he's walking fewer batters (3.70 walks per 9), getting more ground balls (42 percent this season, 52.3 last) and fewer of his fly balls are traveling for homers (7.7 percent this season, 7.7 last). Hamels struggled a little in his first and last start, but in the six in between those two, he's 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA. Rockies at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Bud NorrisBAD MATCHUP: As Matt wrote earlier, Albert Pujols has tied his career-long with 22 games without a homer. For the most part, you'd expect him to own a guy named Bud -- but a look at the stats say no. Against Astros starter Bud Norris, Pujols is hitting .235/.316/.353 with two doubles in 19 plate appearances -- and no home runs. In seven career starts against the Cardinals, Norris is 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA and 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA at Busch Stadium. Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse didn't allow a run in seven innings against the Astros in a win on April 27. Astros at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com